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  • Ashleigh Harvey

My Covid kick in the butt

We all had one, right? We saw the Roner coming and we knew it was gonna hit. And then it did. And it hit me RIGHT where it hurt. In my ego.




I had moved to London to start working as a professional in the theatre industry. And I'd booked my first job. A week later, lockdown. Fun times.


I'd always written copy. And I'd always wanted to start my own copywriting business. But, you know...life. So, now, I had to *actually* get my shit together and do it. It's amazing how a pandemic can get your ass into gear.


I'm not gonna bore you with the ins and outs of what I did. But I do want to give you some tips if you're thinking of starting your own business. Because my whole thing was, where do I start? How do I even begin to get this right? So, here are five things I did back in March. And now I have a small company, servicing four regular clients based in India, South Africa, America and Australia. And a few one-offs on the side. And that's just in six months, with virtually no marketing. WTF, is what I say.


  • Buy a course. Yes, it'll cost you money. But I'm not even a quarter of the way through mine and I've already made the money back with new clients. You might think you know all there is to know about copywriting (or whatever your thing is), but courses can also teach you other things. Like how to set your rates, or how to find more clients, or how to create spec work if you don't have a lot of stuff to show off right now. You also become part of a community, which is wonderful. I bought mine from The Filthy Rich Writer, and I am loving it!


  • Create a website. This is going to be your most time-consuming exercise, but it's SOOOOOO worth it. There are so many platforms out there that you can use yourself - wix, weebly, wordpress. So building the site doesn't have to be an expensive exercise. You're a writer, so WRITE THAT SITE, baby! Show off your skill. Show people what you can do. It will get you work. If you have a designer friend who needs to create spec work, ask them to create your branding for free. And then tell them you'll write their website for free, in return. Hello, trade exchange! A website is your voice. It's your office. Don't skip it.


  • Have work you can show off. This is where your website comes in handy again. Client: 'Do you have any work you can show me?' You: 'Oh, funny you should ask. As it just so happens, yes I do! Here is my website!' See how handy that is? But also, create a portfolio online if you can. And if you're super-new you can create work on spec so you have something to send people. This is where your paid-for course works for you.


  • Set up an international bank account. Urgh, I know. The boring stuff. But you're going to work with people from all over the world (YUP. You are), and you want a place where you can receive that dosh without a worry. I use TransferWise, but there are others.


  • Facebook. Now, here's the thing. There is this AMAZING community around the world. They're all online. They're all working from their laptops in coffee shops in Barcelona, and on beaches in Cape Town. They're exploring Guatemala and South Korea and the deep waters of The Ganges, and they're looking for other people doing the same thing! They want to work with those people. Facebook is full of Digital Nomad groups and groups for Online Entrepreneurs. No more office. No more 9-5. You are your own boss. So make that Book of the Face your friend. And then sell yo' damn self!


One more thing. JUST DO IT. Stop thinking. Just do it. Small steps every day. It is totally achievable. Get out of your head and get into your new website. Or buy the course. Or join a few Facebook groups and start networking. Do one small thing. Then another. And another. Because? Fuck Covid.




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THE STORY TEAM

London, United Kingdom

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